I although had good results with transparent cookiepatchimages, a aim at camera-constraint and a few patches shaped like the border of the objects. This is easier to control and can be very powerful.
Fuchur brings up another method to approach glow effects and there are still others.
The look you are after may dictate the approach you want to take.
I read in another topic for instance that you are looking to blow planets up.
For such an effect you should break each element down into to basic components and add together what works best.
There are two tutorials by Jeff Paries that might prove effective and suit your needs.
One uses a material effector to disintegrate a planet while the other generates an exploding ring.
We might be going a bit off topic so I'll just point you to this link
. (Mike Cossey even has a few project files there)